Spring 2013 Newsletter
Our Outreach team members have been working hard the past few months to create conversations and maintain communication within our own campus community. In addition to our active Facebook page that is regularly visited by over 1,000 people per week, we have organized several events for Middlebury students in order to keep our friends, peers, and faculty members up-to-date.
At a dinner in the Atwater dining hall on March 13th, over 100 students enjoyed a delicious meal of local food while viewing our virtual walk-through video of InSite. Team members Gwen Cook ’13, Kate Eiseman ’15, and Brandon Gell ’16 gave an overview of our outreach and construction efforts, encouraging students to contact the team with any interest in joining the project and to check out our Facebook page and website. Many students had heard of the Solar Decathlon but did not fully understand what the project entails. Team members mingled with other students, explaining what the competition involves as well as describing some of the concepts behind InSite’s design. A concise visual pamphlet designed by Jonah Merris ’13 helped students connect what they’ve heard about the team with the physical product we are working to create.
Following the Spring Break building push, our Spring Construction Kick-Off event on April 4th united students, faculty, community members, alumni, and Vermont legislators to celebrate this new phase in the building process. At the Ridgeline lot where the physical structure of InSite now stands – foundation, walls, steel beams, roof and all – President Liebowitz welcomed the broader Middlebury Solar Decathlon community. In his address, he commended the dedication of Middlebury’s decathletes on both the 2011 and 2013 teams. Following his speech, team members Kate Eiseman ’15, Cordelia Newbury 13’, and Laura Romig ’12.5 spoke about the tremendous ground we’ve covered thus far and updated the guests on the various ways in which anyone can get involved and play a role as the project moves forward. Attendees enjoyed music by student band, The Blue Laws (Kento Mizuno ’15, Dustin Lowman ’15, and Danny Nigh ’15), as well as refreshments provided by Otter Creek Bakery, the Middlebury Co-op, and Monument Farms. It was extremely inspiring to walk inside the structure of the house alongside enthusiastic and supportive community members. We really enjoyed the opportunity to share our accomplishments with those who have supported us!
Greater Community Outreach
Team Middlebury is proud to have claimed First Place in the Vegetarian Chili contest at the annual Vermont Chili Festival on March 9th. Solar Decathlon team members created and cooked our unique recipe – including a side of cornbread with every serving. We had a lot of fun serving our chili in the sunshine alongside entries from restaurants and groups from all over the state. As the hordes of Chili-fest goers lined up for samples, team members handed out flyers and gave an introduction to our project. What a fun way to get the word out!
Coming up on April 18th, we are preparing to present at the Middlebury Spring Student Symposium in Bicentennial Hall among other student projects. We will explain that Middlebury’s Solar Decathlon team is more than the seemingly impossible task of the project, but rather a collection of stories from team members who have decided to invest themselves in this competition.With over 100 students involved, the InSite team is one of the most diverse groups on campus. Through the parallel stories of several members of the team we hope to show just how important the project is to us and to the College. Feel free to drop by and look for more details on our website in the next few weeks!
Kayla Bauhaus ’15.5